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Answer This One Question To Become A Successful New Hairstylist

Updated: May 9

What Do You Really Want?

I was just scrolling through Tik Tok, and I landed on a clip of Oprah being interviewed. I scrolled back and rewatched it again.

Trevor Noah asked her, “You have talked to everyone in the world who is successful. What would you say is the one common characteristic that you find gets people to where they want to go?

Oprah gave the simplest, but most challenging answer.

People get to where they want to go, cuz they know where they want to go… most people don’t know where they want to go. Most people, a lot of people are going and being driven by what they think they should do, what other people say they should do, what they have carried in their mind for a long time that they should do. But the most important question you could ever ask yourself is, 'What do I really want?' And the answer to that is once you can establish for yourself what the answer to that is, and have everything you do, every choice you make, move you in the direction of what you SAY your vision is. When you do that, the forces of life rise up to meet you.” -Oprah Winfrey

The most important question you could ever ask yourself as a New Hairstylist is, “what do I really want”?

As the Director of Education for New Talent Hairstylists for 20 years, I can tell you with certainty the reason some New Hairstylists are successful is because they KNOW what they really want. And the reason some New Hairstylists are not successful is that they don’t know what they really want.

No judgment here! I can’t even begin to count how many times I have been guilty of not knowing what I really want. So many times, I have had some vague notion of what I wanted, but no clarity and no details. When I am uncertain, I feel chaotic, anxious, and bad about myself. When I stop and take the time to get clear on what I want, focus on it, and take action toward it, that’s when I see amazing things happen.

When you know what you want, the “how” will reveal itself to you. Or as Oprah says, “The forces of life rise up to meet you”.

So, New Hairstylists…Do you KNOW what you REALLY want?

If you don’t know what you want, you will probably never get it.
-Oliver Wendle Holmes


I want you to dig in, take a minute (or five!), and ponder these 10 questions. Pull out your phone, computer, or napkin, and write some of your thoughts down…

Ask yourself: In a perfect world, if I could have anything I wanted as a Hairstylist, I would...

  1. Work how many days a week?

  2. Make how much $ a week?

  3. Be confident and good at ________. (Type of hair service that intimidates you now. Be honest, you know you have a couple of hair services that totally intimidate you.

  4. Have an amazing Social Media presence with great pictures and videos of my work. Which 2 Social Media platforms would I focus on?

  5. Work in an amazing Salon, Suite or Company that I’m super proud of. Name of Salon, Suite or Company: ___________.

  6. Be trained by and take Advanced Training classes with ________ (Hairstylist/Company).

  7. Be known as a Hairstylist that is an expert at ________ (Precision cuts, balayage, lived-in blondes, editorial work, long hair, short hair, fun colors…)

  8. I want my clientele to be “this” type: __________ (20-somethings, model types, musician types, outdoorsy types….)

  9. As a Hairstylist, I want to work in this niche: _________________ (Entertainment Industry, do Editorial work, be a Platform Artist, Educator, Salon Hairstylist, be a Weddings and Events Hairstylist, work for a Product Company….)

Answering these questions will clarify your answer to “What do I really want”. These questions help work out the details, they help you to envision what success will look like for you.


Now that you are “clear” on what you want, according to Oprah, your next step is to:

"Have everything you do, every choice you make, move you in the direction of what you say your VISION is.”

There’s a keyword in there that I want to jump off the page at you: Vision.

When you are clear on what you really want, you are clear on your vision. Powerful. By being clear about what you want and what your vision for your career as a Hairstylist is, you step into your power and embrace your true purpose. By knowing what you want you can create a life that's beyond your wildest dreams.

What ties in with this is the way to move out of confusion and discouragement is to know what you want.

What do YOU want?
Be Very Clear about what this is.


Hey New Hairstylist,

I want to remind you that you have the power to shift your perspective and transform your situation. You have the power to believe in yourself, to embrace the present moment, and to fail forward.

If so, then I give you permission to stop, take a deep breath, and show yourself the love and support that you need. To remind yourself of why you're doing all of this and of just how many people are out there who truly do need your help.

So, make a commitment to yourself moving forward to check in with yourself, pause to reset if needed, and make not being okay ... an okay thing to be.

You've got this! I'm here to support you every step of the way.

Elevating The Industry,

Karen Spinelli


Cosmetology Students and New Hairstylists My intention with every post is to give New Hairstylists all over the world the tips, short cuts, and tools they need to quickly achieve success. I would love to hear from you! You can reach out here, on my site, Instagram, or Facebook. Sign up for my newsletter to receive my weekly blog sent to your inbox.

Cosmetology Schools and Teachers I would love to talk to your students! To book Karen as a speaker at your Cosmetology School, click here.

Karen Spinelli is from Pasadena, California. She was behind the chair for thirty-five years, as well as Salon Director of Education for New Hairstylists for the last twenty years. Karen loves Hairstylists! She loves to be a part of “AHA” moments, and to watch New Hairstylists grow in their confidence and skills.

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